Trump knows he is a loser.

It took almost a week, but I finally saw an explanation for why the Access Hollywood tape is having such a large effect: It shows him to be a loser. This hurts his brand, and hurts him with his base. Reference: Politico: Very Dangerous Man

With Trump, it's all about the brand. When he says he's worth ten billion dollars, very little of that is in tangible assets; most of it is what he imagines the Trump brand to be worth. He makes money from licensing, i.e. by sticking his name on things, including on hotels that he didn't build. This is his core competency: Like Gilderoy Lockhart, he excels at making people think that Trump=classy and Trump=winner, even though none of it is true.

Now the problem with the Access Hollywood tape, and with the Howard Stern tape, is that Trump is boasting about being a loser! If the only way he can get women's attention is by force, or by a sneak attack, then he is a pathetic loser -- and he knows it. In contrast, if he were a winner, he would be boasting about all the women who willingly threw themselves at his feet.

This isn't going to hurt his standing with you or me, for the same reason that Anita Hill didn't change my opinion of Clarence Thomas: We knew the guy was a creep already. However, this hurts him with the people who were inclined to support him.

Note that Al Capone was imprisoned for income tax evasion. They were never able to convict him for murder, prostitution, loansharking, or bribery. The point is, sometimes justice is so indirect as to be almost ironic. All along there has been a decent segment of people who opposed Trump for being an insatiably selfish, cruel, lying, bigoted ignoramus, but the real turning point was when the other segment realized he was a loser.